How to Share Files Between Computers
File sharing in a network is of course, the most important reason, why the computers are connected in the network. But, then many of us who have recently setup a network, are often confronted with the question, how to share files between computers. In other words, the hardware part is done, the computers are connected, how to get the network into action. Well, sharing files between computers is not a difficult task. Let us go through the various considerations and steps that you need to take, to share files between two computers. Here, It is assumed that you have already connected the computers in the network. Whether you use a LAN or WLAN, that's not a concern, but what's important is that the computers are connected in the network.
Prerequisites for Sharing Files Between Two Computers
As already mentioned, here It is assumed that you have already completed the hardware part for creating your network. Now, let us proceed to the other prerequisites. You need to first consider if the IP addresses in all the computers are set up in the same scheme. Each IP address should be different from the other, but the scheme should be same. By scheme we mean to say that the IP address of the computers in the network should be in the same class. There are basically four classes of IP address, Class A, Class B, Class C and Class D. In general, Class C is the most used scheme or class of ip address for the local area networks or home networks. It will be something like 192.168.254.x, where x can be any number. The x is the only number that you can vary and it can be anything in from 1 to 255. Once you have assigned a unique IP address to all the computers, your next step is to provide a unique name to each computer.
The process to do this is very simple for almost all computers running on Windows operating system. Just right click on the My Computer icon and select Properties. For Windows Vista operating system, just click on the settings tab and click change and for Windows XP, just click on the computer name tab and click change. Give a unique name to each computer in the network. You also need to have the same workgroup to get your file sharing task done. Go to My Network Places and from the options on the right side, select 'Set up a small home or office network'. Now follow the steps and when you get the option for entering the workgroup name, type a common name for the workgroup in all the computers. Other prerequisites that you need to take care of are that you set the same subnet mask for the all the computers. If you are using class C ip address, your subnet mask will be 255.255.255.0. You also need to select the same protocol for all the computers to run smoothly in the same network. This can also be done while setting up the network.
Once you are done with this, your network is set for sharing files between two computers. If one of the computers is connected to the Internet, then you can type in the IP address of that machine in the default gateway option and all the computers can access Internet through that computer. However, our primary concern out here is to share files, hence lets move forward to the next part.
How to Share Files Between Computers on a Network?
That's not a great deal anymore, once you have completed your network. Go to network places and double click on the workgroup name you have created. The workgroup name will contain the name of different computers. Double click on the computer name. Here you can store all the files that you want to share. Another way is to simply right click on the folder which contains the files you want to share and click on 'Share'. This was the first part on how to share files between two computers on a network. Now, how would you access the files, that other computers in the network are sharing with you? You can simply follow the same steps as in the previous case, but instead of double clicking on your own computer name, simply click on the name of the computer, from which you want to access resources. Now, suppose you want users to access your files or folders, but do not want them to make any changes to the same. What would you do? The process is simple. Simply right click on the folder and select properties. Click on the sharing tab and set the option for not allowing users to modify any content.